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Racing Fashion Australia - Millinery
Playing Hats with Piers Atkinson

Dubai World Cup is always a must do on my Calendar after 2014 blew me away literally with Fireworks, Festivities and Fashion on a World Stage.

Dubai is one of the most amazing and New Cities in the world that boasts the Richest Race in the World, (Dubai World Cup, valued at 20million USD) and the fashion seen is opulent, elegant and so unique. There is something that everyone will love.

Australia and United Kingdom would have to be Hat Capital of the world presently, but we love seeing what Dubai has in store for us.

I adore the fun of the 'BIG EYE' hat that has been beamed around the internet and everyone that went to so much trouble to look amazing on the day.

“The Most Unique Hat” Title went to an unknown Milliner, but it was so much fun and really did look like an Eagle.

“Best Hat” was by the amazing local talent of Karen Hamilton who resides in Dubai. Every hat I walked past, I would say, ohhh, I like that hat and Kim Fletcher, International Milliner would tell me “That is another one of Karen's”.

Of course take note, that Ana Pribylova did win the Longines Stylish lady award and her hat was just beautiful. I was also so happy to meet Carol Kennelly Milliner of Ireland who was sporting the Sunny Yellow number. All Amazing Ladies, take a bow and Jaguar Style Stakes has never looked so fabulous.

I have always had the feeling I would getting along charmingly with the wonderful Piers Atkinson, and when first approaching him about coming to chat and look at his collections, I had to test him. In my email, I wrote, May I visit on April Fools Day?. I had a 'yes' which made me feel fantastic, but then I went on to tell him about an April Fool prank that I played on my husband. I told my husband a train was coming down the tram line in Melbourne. The poor darling believed me and I felt terrible. How could I tell him a lie when he trusts me so much, but it was April Fools.

Piers Atkinson has one of those fabulous British senses of humour where you giggle at everything and just cannot get enough of his infectious high energy fun. When visiting, everything was fun, and he said “Would you like something?”,

I said, “Everything!!!”. To me everything is exactly what I received, a fantastic day with a person of fun and fabulous. You will see me sporting a few of some Piers Fun very soon, but shhh, its a secret.

I did learn that Piers, 'Fell' into Millinery and his mother was a formerly trained Milliner who's stitching was perfection as well as her hats.

Piers, loved going out having fun and wearing fabulous head wear as an accessory to sport at clubs in London. After being seen so much with his quirky and novel numbers, he was soon given the title of 'Milliner' and some of the most elite including 'Anna Della Russo' often sports his latest looks.

I am particularly excited about a new project that is on the go, but I am promised to secrecy. It is so much fun and it will have everyone feeling like they are all spectacular.

I was privy to see the new range of the collaboration with Zandra Rhodes which takes inspiration from Uluru and the Red Centre where Zandra visited in 1974. (See Below) Her design that gives her such fond memories has been printed onto Sinemay and turned into gorgeous head wear and hats for the 2015 season of Royal Ascot. Get in quickly because they are a limited edition and will not last long. Piers strongly concentrates on his phenomenal kitsch range of Apples, Cherries and now (meow) cat ears, but also has may classic pieces so will appeal to all tastes. Beautifully brimmed hats, with adornments of flowers feature for 2015, but when purchasing Piers, I just love the fun.

Not all his materials or tools may be that of a classically trained Milliner, where you can find Limbs or Limbless Barbie Dolls dramatically perched in places, just waiting to be admired, every nook seems to have a personality and demanded to be looked at. There are loads of Swarovki's and Glitter Galore and I did mention to Piers, “Glitter, simply does not rub off”.

I am so blessed to have visited Piers and see his latest collection which I hope I can convince some Australian Stores to stock. Australia loves Piers work and would love somewhere to locate it easily without relying on International Delivery.

There is no way you can wear a Piers Atkinson hat and simply not be happy, they instantly lift you into a dimension of fun, happiness and you will soon be walking with a spring in your step.

 

I saw one of Piers pieces at Dubai World Cup and it made the finals in 3 sections. How can a pink and purple unicorn not be given a second look especially when you add glitter and sparkle. I would like to thank the amazing Piers and his staff for allowing me to come in to the studio and transform into a cat when wearing one of his gorgeous Pussy Cat felt hats. (See below). If you would like further information about any of Piers fabulous range, you can go to his site by clicking here, or hopefully we will see his pieces in Australia in time for Spring Racing Carnival. Hats a Hoy.

 
Piers Atkinson in Collaboration with Zandra Rhodes

What happens when you incorporate two incredibly talented people.  I mean the amazing Piers Atkinson and Zandra Rhodes.

You are going to have some serious Millinery and Design alliance that is spectacular.

Zandra visited Ayers Rock, Ularu in 1974 and designed some breathtaking textiles, here we have a team of something very special.

For more information, Click Here to be directed to Piers Atkinson.

 
Philip Treacy, Sharing Stories in London

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the amazing talented Philip Treacy on numerous occasions, but heading to London to co-curate Xterrace 21st Century Hat Exhibition, I knew I definitely wanted to share a couple of pieces with this Hatmaker.

I think it is important to start off with letting everyone know, that Philip Treacy is not known as a 'Milliner' in that term, yet 'Hatmaker'. Philip is the Genius behind the scenes where he designs and lay plans for hats for the coming year and makes the most beautiful Couture and Bespoke pieces, yet his life is not sitting stitching, hence the word 'Milliner' is one who is constantly making and stitching hats by hand and 'Hatmaker' is one more of design.

I was very excited to receive an invitation to meet with Philip after coming home from Dubai and closing the exhibition and to my surprise he had mentioned to me that he heard it was an 'Excellent Exhibition' and would have loved to have seen it, but due to prior commitments he was overseas. Even the remarks that he had heard and passed onto me and to my Co-curator Monique Highlands was such an honour and something we do not take lightly. (Australian and all exhibitors, please take a bow, as your impressive work has amazed so many in London).

I was expecting to speak about the latest lines and shapes for Royal Ascot, instead I was invited into Philip's private room which I felt extremely honoured. It was hard to look at him when sitting for Tea with all these amazing books and curios that keep him inspired sitting among us, but I was there to just share some time and for that I am so grateful.

I was invited to see the workroom and meet the staff who showed me a piece that they were working on for Madonna with Swarovski embellishment, but that I keep to myself as I am blessed to be in many Hatmakers/Milliners back rooms and what goes on in the back is like guarded magician secrets that I am blessed to see, but believe it is like any artist, they need to keep it closely guarded. My mothers hidden sanctuary of her artistic studio is the same, I treat is with the utmost respect.

I was delighted to be shown through Philip Treacy's block collection and loved hearing stories of how he came to ideas to make the blocks, collaborations and the fondness of Isabella Blow and the art they shared together.

Beyond Hatmaker I believe that Treacy is Genius and does not work on a level like most others. I shared time and stories with Philip which gave me insight into him just being a normal person with talent that extends beyond hats: He is a master designer and creator of all things beautiful. Time is one of the most precious things you can share with someone, as even when I am in my home city, I am devoted to my family and musing over things I love, there is not much room for socialising these days. I am so grateful for the time we shared and the stories that were meaningful and hope I can inspire for future. I think Paris Kyne would be extremely chuffed to think that his work was being shown to such an Icon as Philip Treacy and these hats are only for exhibit now as they are too close to my heart for anything to happen to them.

In closing, to co-curate an exhibition of something I love and be appreciated for it, is beyond belief and to have others believing in my plight of loving wearing hats is beautiful. There is no huge mystery to why I love hats, just something that started at a young age and continued. I am very blessed to be living my dream, but also I thank my nearest and dearest family that want me to succeed and believe in my dreams and passions.

Racing Fashion is more than Fashions on the Field and walking around in a hat and beautiful clothes, it is a lifestyle or way of life. Racing Fashion has inspired so many to start blogs, love hats and wear beautiful clothes. Beyond the clothes, lays the heart and the art that lay behind the person who makes these amazing garments and hats. These Hatmakers, Milliners and Couturiers are amazing people with stories to tell and have lived amazing lives that bring them to the point of becoming 'Masters' of their craft.

 

Please always think, where have your garments come from, how have they been sourced and who is the person behind the design and aesthetic, is it something blocked and made for the masses or is it something you are going to treasure for a lifetime and remember all your most wonderful memories in. That is passion for fashion for me.

Philip Treacy Hats are exclusively available at Christine, Flinders Lane in Melbourne, or directly through Philip's website. Click Here.

 
Jane Taylor Millinery

I first had the pleasure of meeting the talented Milliner Jane Taylor in Australia. Jane was an International Guest at the International Millinery Forum where 1000s of delegates from all around the world attended to learn the beautiful traditional craft of Millinery.

Jane and I were lucky enough to spend time on a few occasions together where I would have to present her to an audience and prepare what and when we were going to say.

Jane was a hit in Australia and everyone embraced her British Charm and loved her classes.

When returning to London it was a must do on my list to make a visit to her, although I did spend allot of time on the floor with her dog.

Jane's work is distinctive and classic and is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge. When in Australia, Jane told her audience that she cannot reveal a thing about the much loved royal personally as her contract is an eternal agreement of secrecy.

In traditional British style, Jane's work is perfectly crafted with the finest attention to detail. Her button headpieces are some of my favourite although her bespoke and creative flair does catch the eye of major celebrities such as Beyonce. I had the pleasure of trying on her 'Black Veiled Mask' that was so incredibly comfortable to wear.

Jane's work is also fabulously wearable for any occasion with her using woven fabrics with hints of chrome and highlights of neon without being too flashy.

Trying on Jane's hats they are very difficult to choose from. My main aim for Jane is to introduce her work to the Australian audience and her hats will travel very well. They are impeccably made. Jane is the only British Milliner I am aware of that uses Silk Abaca in her work, and seeing the Duchess of Cambridge on the cover of several magazines, her work is distinctive and outstanding for all the right reasons.

I do concentrate on 'Racing Fashion' and attire on the racecourse, although if you are a 'Mother of the Bride' or wishing to make a statement in cocktail our you will be the most classically stylish in any crowd.

Jane is currently in the process of moving her studio but has so many Millinery delights for all tastes. Make sure you book into see Jane before Royal Ascot even is in mind as this time is the most busy season and you want to make sure there is enough time for you bespoke custom dyed hat is perfect.

 

Jane is a must see Milliner for anyone in the market for 'Statement or Subtle' hats, and an all occasion Milliner.

Click here for more of Jane Taylor Millinery

Soon to come, Jane Taylor will be releasing a glove collection.

They are beautiful to wear and will be coming in the most fabulous colours.

 
La dame au béret - Millinery

Images: Magic Owen Photography ©2015 - Model: Alissa P. + rescue fox from Weird 'n' Wonderful.

 
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